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The Juanito sandwich at restaurant La Huerta.
Juanito, the big sandwich that has become a huge success in Casabermeja
Food and drink

Juanito, the big sandwich that has become a huge success in Casabermeja

Homemade 'lomo en manteca', a two-egg omelette, mayonnaise and tomato make up the filling of this exclusive breakfast at a local restaurant

Javier Almellones

Casabermeja

Tuesday, 26 March 2024

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First thing in the morning, La Huerta is especially busy. Located near the centre of Casabermeja in the province of Malaga and close to the main road, hundreds of workers stop at the restaurant every day for breakfast. They are spoilt for choice, like in many bars in the area, but only here will you find a sandwich that was once created by a regular customer who worked in the industrial estate just opposite the restaurant.

That was more than ten years ago, according to Pepi Flores, the cook at La Huerta. The customer in question, Juan, "ordered it like that and that's how it remained, because many others started to order the same", said the co-owner of this restaurant, which has been recognised on several occasions for its commitment to traditional cuisine and especially for its promotion of 'chivo lechal malagueño' (Malaga suckling kid), the first goat meat with a quality seal that is recognised throughout Spain.

Over time the sandwich was given the name Juanito; its main ingredients are 'lomo en manteca' - marinated pork loin that has been cooked and preserved in lard - and a two-egg omelette. To this, you spread blended tomato on the bottom half and a light layer of mayonnaise on the top. Of all these ingredients, the first is the most highly valued: 'lomo de manteca' is made twice a week, in the traditional way, but with the cook's personal touch.

The Juanito's main ingredients include homemade 'lomo en manteca' and tortilla.
The Juanito's main ingredients include homemade 'lomo en manteca' and tortilla.

The quality of the bread is also important. Like other sandwiches, the Juanito can be ordered in different sizes, such as 'pitufos' (the smallest), 'vienas' or 'molletes'. All of these are made in Casabermeja's top bakery, Nuestra Señora del Socorro, located just a few metres from the village church.

The quality ingredients and amount of choice when it comes to this sandwich makes it one of the most popular breakfasts ordered by the regulars at La Huerta. "Those who order it, don't stop," said Pepi Flores.

The price of the sandwich with a cup of coffee is 4.50 euros.
The price of the sandwich with a cup of coffee is 4.50 euros.

Ordering a Juanito at La Huerta, with coffee included, can cost between 3.50 euros for the smallest sized sandwich, the 'pitufo', and 4.50 euros for the 'mollete' or the 'viena' - excellent value for money, considering its ingredients and customer satisfaction.

La Huerta is, however, known for more than the variety and quality of its breakfasts: the restaurant is especially known for its lunch menu, and has a long history of serving the traditional recipes of Casabermeja and the rest of the province.

The establishment is also a member of the Carta Malacitana, a non-profit association which promotes Malaga food culture, and has recently received an award from the Gastronomic Academy of Malaga. La Huerta has, moreover, won other accolades such as the Tapa de la Cabra Malagueña, a goat meat dish contest held every September.

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